Tzohar hosts Yom Kippur prayer for 55,000 Israelis, including prisoners

The Ofer Prison near Jerusalem. The national-religious rabbinical organization Tzohar will ‎host more than 55,000 Israelis in 280 sites around the ‎country, including some prisons, for a Yom Kippur prayer program. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

By Israel Hayom/

The national-religious rabbinical organization Tzohar is celebrating the 15th year of its Yom Kippur "Praying Together" ‎program by ‎hosting more than 55,000 Israelis in 280 sites around the ‎country, including some prisons.‎

‎"We see the desire of thousands of Israelis who typically do not ‎attend synagogue to take part in this most holy day," said Tzohar co-founder Rabbi David ‎Stav. "We know that going to a religious shul can ‎be daunting for someone who doesn't regularly attend or associate ‎with that particular community. We strive to bring the holiness of the ‎day to neutral place, such as community centers and event halls, to ‎make it more inviting and accessible for everyone."‎

Participants are all provided with the same prayer book to make following the service ‎easier, as well as with an explanatory pamphlet about the customs, prayers and meaning of Yom Kippur.‎

‎"This past summer, during Operation Protective Edge, we were blessed ‎with a deep sense of national Jewish unity, reminiscent of the solidarity ‎during the Six-Day War," Stav said. "The powerful prayer '‎Ki Anu Amecha' ('For We Are Your Nation') is a beautiful and meaningful ‎prayer of unity for all of the Jewish people. This year, in each of our ‎‎280 locations, this prayer will be sung to the tune of the Israeli national ‎anthem, Hatikvah, to perpetuate this message of unity and ‎togetherness for our people in Israel and around the world."‎

More than 350 Tzohar volunteers will take part in the program this year. And for the first time, ‎several prayer services are being held for prison inmates.‎

Nachman Rosenberg, Tzohar's executive vice president, said, "The ‎increasing popularity of our annual Yom Kippur program reflects an ‎ever-growing thirst for Jewish tradition. This program is an integral ‎component of Tzohar's commitment to ensure the Jewish future of the ‎State of Israel for generations to come."‎

Posted on October 3, 2014 .